Tales of valour and grace are plenty, but not all have been told. There are many feats of bravery and justice which live only in the hearts and minds of a chosen few. This is but one tale from “The Book of Agbaroh”, one not easily forgotten.
In the heart of our great cities, there are little reminders of the jungles and forests that were. Long ago before paths became streets and mansions started as mud huts, there was a small village nestled between a mountain and a flowing stream. This was the home of Ovo, a young boy who was the son of the town hunter and healer, his parents were proud of their boy as his bravery and kindness showed at a young age. His little brother was his everything as he was born the day Ovo had first killed a snake. They could always be seen playing together, however his little brother Gbeni did not have the strength he did, but was as wise as the village elders and quick to learn.
As they grew older, they started helping their parents with village errands and tasks. On one such task Ovo and Gbeni came back to the village disoriented and without their parents. As the years went on, they continued in their family tradition and helped out where they were needed, the tasks grew more tasking and Gbeni had become Ovo’s trusty healer and companion. They did not slay these beasts or find lost villagers because of money or fame, but they did them out of kindness and for the chance to travel far and wide, to find out what had happen to their parents.
On a windless evening, they walked back into the village with cuts and bruises after saving a close by village from an evil witch. Their village was quiet and not even the goats could be heard. A solemn child peaked from the back of a shack and then ran out to them. In-between tears and sniffs he explained that the villagers had all been taken by masked men accompanied by two face-painted Jazz men (magicians) , a red one and a blue one. The villagers were to be killed at the Howling Hills by sunrise, to atone for the death of their wicked witch queen.
With one look, they nodded at each other as they knew what had to be done. Gbeni ran to their hut and gathered supplies as Ovo skinned and roasted the wild boar they had brought back.
After eating and a brief rest, they set off for the Howling Hills, leaving the little crying boy in a village along the way. The trip was short and not many words were exchanged between the siblings, but as they passed through the forest, traversed the winding river of Ifedi and crossed the caves of Shalla, it was time to talk as their destination was within sight.
Ovo put on his father’s chest plate and sharpened his cutlass, he told Gbeni to look out from the cave mouth, as the Jazz men and their henchmen were close and could be seen in the slowly brightening daylight. He was to wait close by in the shadows and be ready for anything. Gbeni nodded in agreement and handed Ovo some herbs they had picked in the caves of Shalla.
With a hug and a short prayer, he set off.